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Section 3

Page history last edited by Loraine 5 years ago



1.         Recruitment of Paid Staff and Volunteers


1.1       To protect minors in our care and to be protected from liability, the church must take reasonable action in screening and supervising the workers involved in any children’s work. (A court can find the church legally liable if it is less than systematic and therefore negligent in screening volunteers). By having everyone fill out an application form and keeping them on file, the church greatly reduces the potential for child abuse and the resultant liability. Our staffing and child protection policies and guidelines also serve to protect workers from accusation.


1.2       The Children’s/Youth Ministry Application Form will  be submitted by the worker before interim approval is considered as it is critical in protecting the church from legal action if a case of child abuse occurs in which a church worker is involved.


2.         Reference Check


2.1   Three personal references are requested on the application form. Relatives should not be used as references except in the case of minors who may use parents or teachers as a reference.  Employers should only be used where the employment involved working with minors.


Suggested references are:

1)      Present or former Pastor or if not a church-attender, the head official (e.g. principal of a school, camp director) of the organization where they have worked with children/youth,

2)      The immediate supervisor from the church or other organization where the individual served with children/youth (babysitting/child care references may be used). 

3)      Other individuals who have served with the individual in children’s/youth work and who have sufficient strength of relationship to comment on the individual’s personal habits and character

4)      Try to include one reference from inside Bonnyville Baptist Church.


2.2   At least two of these references will be contacted and asked to affirm the appointment of the volunteer. The person making the contact will use a suggested ‘script’, and the name of this individual, the date, and a summary of the reference’s comments will all be recorded.


3.  Interview


3.1       The interview will be conducted by two people, one of whom shall be the immediate supervisor (primary interviewer) of the applicant and the other a member of the screening committee.   If these are one and the same person, then another individual will be selected by the primary interviewer to serve as the second person.


3.2       An interview provides theopportunity to review the important items from the application form in a personal setting. This allows them to ask follow-up questions and to enhance their knowledge of the applicant. The interview will also allow the potential worker the opportunity of asking questions about various children’s ministries and the reasons behind our child protection procedures.


3.3       What kind of criminal convictions disqualify a person from serving in Children’s/Youth Ministries at Bonnyville Baptist Church? 


A criminal conviction for a sexual offence involving a minor would certainly disqualify an applicant. In the case of pedophilic behaviour (molestation of a pre-adolescent child) such a conviction should disqualify an individual no matter how long ago it occurred (because of the virtual impossibility that such a condition can be “cured”). Other automatic disqualifiers would include incest, rape, assaults involving minors, murder, kidnapping, child pornography, sodomy, and the physical abuse of a minor.


Some crimes would not be automatic disqualifiers, because they would not necessarily suggest a risk of child abuse or molestation. Some property offences would not be included in this list, particularly if the offence occurred long ago and the individual has a long history of impeccable behaviour.


Should religious conversion make a difference for a worker who has been guilty of child molestation in the past?  Occasionally, such person’s freely admit to a prior incident, but insist that they have since had a conversion experience and that they now present no risk. The safest course would be to encourage such an individual to work in the church, but in a position not involving access to children or youth. This is a reasonable accommodation of an individual’s desire to serve the Bonnyville Baptist Church. Any church that permits such an individual to work with children or youth, on the basis of the professed religious conversion, will have a virtually indefensible position should another incident of molestation occur. A defense - that the molester claimed to have been converted - would likely be viewed with derision by a civil court. Putting a known child molester in a position involving access to children is taking a huge risk.          



4.   Criminal Record Check


4.1   Each potential worker will be provided with a criminal record check form, instructions for obtaining from the RCMP, and a Verification of Request form to immediately submit to the primary interviewer.


4.2   Any individual who will not submit to this procedure will be ineligible to be involved with children on behalf of the church.


4.3       The cost for any CRC’s requested by the Bonnyville Baptist Church will be borne by the church.


4.4       Minors (14 to 17 years) have the option of serving as either Junior or Senior Workers - Junior Workers are exempt from obtaining CRC’s.


4.5       Criminal Record Checks are required, minimally, every three years. The worker will be notified by the screening committee when an update is required.


4.6       New workers may begin working for the church after verification of request for a CRC had been submitted to the screening committee. This grace period for providing the church with a CRC will not exceed 120 days.


4.7       The CRC’s are to be picked up from the RCMP by the individual and submitted to the church office in an envelope marked ‘confidential’ with their name on the outside, to the attention of the primary interviewer.


4.8       If there is no criminal record of any sort, the volunteer may be considered for ongoing service in the church.


4.9       If there is a record or information which raises some concern, the primary interviewer and the senior pastor will meet to discuss the matter. If the offense is other than child or sexual abuse, the volunteer may proceed with ministry in the church provided both the primary interviewer and senior pastor agree. The following are criteria to consider when evaluating the information: 

  • the number and type of convictions,
  • the age and circumstances of the offender at the time of the offence,
  • the length of time between past criminal activity and the present,
  • the conduct and circumstances of the individual since the offence,  and
  •  the likelihood of the individual repeating the offence


4.10     If the offence is related to abuse of minors or of a sexual nature, the worker may not be involved in ministry with minors on behalf of the Bonnyville Baptist Church.


5.     Records


  5.1        All screening records, except the initial CRC, will be sealed in an envelope on completion of the screening process and placed in the individual’s confidential screening file.


 5.2        Information pertinent to the supervision or involvement with age groups other than that initially screened for should be recorded on a separate file memo and made privy only to those with a need to know, i.e. screening committee member or ministry leader.


5.3        Screening records will be maintained in a locked cupboard or cabinet in the church administration offices. 


5.4        Only those listed in 5.2 above and the individual themselves will be permitted access to the screening file.


5.5        Two people should be present each time a record is accessed and the file access log must be completed.


5.6        Screening files should be kept for seventy-five (75) years. 


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